A Pakistani Baby Accused of Attempted Murder Is Now on the Lam

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 8 2014 12:01 PM

A Pakistani Baby Accused of Attempted Murder Is Now on the Lam

Musa Khan and two of his family members appeared in a Pakistani court last week to face charges of attempted murder for allegedly throwing bricks and stones at police officers and gas company workers trying to collect on overdue bills. Exactly what happened during the alleged attack is, of course, in dispute. What is not: Musa Khan is a nine-month-old baby. As of today, he's a nine-month-old baby on the lam, via Reuters:

Relatives of a nine-month old baby charged with attempted murder in Pakistan have taken him into hiding, one said on Tuesday, in a case that has thrown a spotlight on Pakistan's dysfunctional criminal justice system. ... "Police are vindictive. Now they are trying to settle the issue on personal grounds, that's why I sent my grandson to Faisalabad for protection," the baby's grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, told Reuters, referring to a central Pakistani city.

The scene at baby Musa's first court appearance went about how one would expect: The baby cried while being fingerprinted and, later, in the words of Reuters, "sucked on a bottle of milk and tried to grab journalists' microphones as his grandfather spoke to the media."

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The nine-month-old is technically currently out on bail and is due to appear in court again later this week. Yasin says that the family hasn't yet decided whether they'll bring baby Musa back for that hearing or not. The good news is that it appears as though they might not have to decide. CNN reports that, thanks in part to the media coverage of the incident and ensuing head-slapping at home and abroad, the provincial government has suspended the officer who filed the case against the baby boy, and is currently investigating the case.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.